There’s nothing wrong with being picky when choosing a campground. However, there’s a difference between being picky and being a campground snob.
We’ve spent our fair share of time in campgrounds and encountered a handful of campground snobs. These individuals often make it hard for everyone camping with and around them to have a good time during their outdoor adventures.
Today, we’re sharing nine signs that you might be a campground snob. If you identify with most of these, you might consider making some changes. Let’s get started!
What Is a Snob?
If someone calls you a snob, they’re not complimenting you. A snob is a person who behaves in a way where it appears they feel that they are more important or superior to others. They often value their opinion or tastes more than those around them and aren’t quiet about it.
Dealing with a snob can feel extremely challenging. People who exhibit these behaviors can sometimes come off as condescending, self-centered, and rude. Snobs usually have a warped perception of their behaviors and attitude, which makes it hard for them to see the reality of how they act.
The downside to being a snob is that you find yourself dissatisfied with most people, places, and things. That dissatisfaction can create tensions and even amplify the poor experiences one has with the things that don’t meet expectations. Not only does this ruin things for you, but those around you.
Pro Tip: Use this guide on How to Find Campgrounds with WiFi to always stay connected.
9 Signs You Might Be a Campground Snob
There are common behaviors that campground snobs exhibit. You’re not likely a campground snob just because you identify with one or two of these signs. However, if you or someone you know matches most of them, you might consider doing some soul-searching and making changes. Let’s take a look!
You Expect Paved Campsites Everywhere You Go
Paved campsites can be nice because they’re typically flat and make leveling easy. They also minimize the amount of dirt and debris tracked into your RV or tent while camping. However, to expect to only stay in paved campsites is one of the first signs that you’re a campground snob.
Not all campgrounds will have paved campsites, especially many in national and state parks. You’ll most commonly find paved campsites at RV parks and resorts. While there’s nothing wrong with these establishments, they’re sometimes so luxurious that it’s hard to consider them camping.
If left unchecked, it’s easy to develop an elitist attitude if you expect a premium or luxury experience everywhere you camp. Instead, you can combat the desire to be clean and tidy by bringing your own campsite setup complete with outdoor rugs and screen tents.
You’ll Only Camp in Waterfront Campsites
Do we like waterfront campsites? Absolutely. However, they’re not the only type of campsite that we enjoy. You might be a campground snob if you refuse to camp in a non-waterfront site.
One of the great things about camping is that you get to experience different campsites. Some will be better than others, and it’s up to you to make the most out of the situation. You won’t always have the best view or campsite in the campground. Don’t let a less-than-perfect view ruin your camping adventures. Instead, get creative with some campsite decorations to make your camping view charming wherever you go.
Always Get Full Hookups With 50-Amp Service
Some campers who act like campground snobs will only camp with full hookups with 50-amp service. They don’t want to adjust their power usage or worry about running out of water or dumping waste tanks. Campground snobs that need full hookups often want a more luxury-filled camping experience, sometimes called “glamping.”
However, some of our favorite camping memories have come from sites where we didn’t have full hookups or 50-amp service. Many amazing campgrounds only offer 30 amp service or no electrical service at all. While this means less power, you can find yourself closer to nature or in a National Park.
While you’ll have times when you need or want full hookups or 50-amp service, these amenities aren’t essential for most campers or camping situations. However, they can be essential if you go camping for an extended period or during extreme weather.
Expand your camping horizons by parking in 30-amp campsites. And yes, you can plug your 50-amp RV into a 30-amp hookup, you just have to know your limits. If that’s really too limiting for you, you can look at investing in an ultimate solar system so you have all the power you need no matter where you are!
Smells in Camp Bathrooms Are Unacceptable
If you expect the campground bathroom to look or smell like a luxury hotel bathroom, you might be a campground snob.
While most campgrounds strive to keep their bathrooms as clean as possible, it can often be impossible to keep them clean constantly. Like any public bathroom, odors increase as more and more people use the restroom. Let’s face it, stinky things happen in bathrooms!
While nobody enjoys a smelly bathroom, some people find them unacceptable. They may even complain to the management or leave a negative review online solely because of the bathrooms. This can hurt overall business for the campground even if the rest of the campground is neat and tidy.
If you’re in an RV, you often have your own bathroom to use anyway. Instead of making a fuss about factors out of your control, you can take steps to upgrade your RV bathroom to suit all your needs. From on-demand tankless heated waters to installing a new porcelain toilet, you can outfit your bathroom so you’ll never have to use another campground shower or toilet again.
Appalled by Prices Over $30/Night
If paying more than $30 per night for a campsite appalls you, some may consider you a campground snob.
While nobody likes paying expensive camping fees, campgrounds are businesses that have bills to pay too. If you expect them to provide power, water, and sewer connections, expect to pay for them.
Campers often forget that some campgrounds charge premium rates because of their proximity to popular tourist destinations. For example, some near popular national parks like Yellowstone or Yosemite typically charge well over $30 per night despite not offering water, sewer, or electricity.
Campground fees have increased dramatically in recent years. Many campgrounds must raise their rates to cover increased maintenance and utility usage expenses. Campground snobs often have a hard time adjusting to price increases, despite inflation and increased campground overhead costs to provide more RV park amenities.
If you really can’t swallow the new norm, learn how to boondock! Boondocking is often free or cheap, and just requires some off-grid RV upgrades for boondocking to keep you just as comfortable as in a campground.
You Think Your RV Is Best (And Tell Other Campers So)
One of the most obvious signs that someone is a campground snob is that they think their RV is the best. How do you know they think it’s the best? They’ll tell you.
This type of campground snob is one of the worst to have as an RV neighbor.
There’s nothing wrong with an owner loving their RV. However, constantly bragging about features or upgrades is off-putting to many people. Snobs like to boast about their material possessions and often find some of their value and self-worth in their items.
Just because your RV has some fancy state-of-the-art features doesn’t mean everybody wants to hear about them constantly. If you find that you always talk about your RV, you could be guilty of being a campground snob.
For this one, our advice is to try asking people about their RVs. If you can balance the conversation a bit, and be careful not to criticize your neighbor’s RV, you may still get away with talking proudly about your rig.
Pro Tip: Campground snob or not, these are 5 Reasons to Avoid Encore Resorts.
Report Minor Rule Violations to the Campground Management as Serious Crimes
Campground snobs often take campground rules a little too seriously. Instead of enjoying their rig or the great outdoors, they watch campers around them like a hawk for rule violations. Once they occur, they immediately report them to the campground management and expect the authority figure to deliver swift justice.
Should campers follow the rules? Absolutely. Even we are annoyed when people blatantly ignore the rules, especially the golden rules of camping. However, not every minor rule violation is the end of the world or worthy of reporting. Also, many people break the rules because of ignorance, not malice.
Campground snobs take the rules so seriously that they seem offended by a fellow camper not following the rules to a tee, whether it impacts them or not. Just remember, nobody likes a snitch, so you might find yourself quite unpopular at the campground.
Instead, try some grace. If the person continually breaks the rule, maybe they honestly don’t know about it. A gentle conversation is often a much better way to handle these things than to involve management.
Pro Tip: Don’t let a campground snob catch you breaking any of these 5 Weirdest Rules You’ll Find in RV Parks.
Take on Campground Rule Enforcement Yourself
However, if you go too far by not involving management, you might be in danger of being even more snobby. Some campground snobs take the initiative to act as vigilantes and enforce the rules themselves.
Instead of simply reporting a rule violation to a camp host or management, they address the situation themselves. And not in a nice gentle-conversation way.
While we support speaking up when someone isn’t doing the right thing, there are good and bad ways to go about it. A helpful question or conversation is much different than a confrontation. Real enforcement of rules typically comes best from someone with a position of authority.
Campground snobs can find themselves in a heated situation depending on how they address the issue and the rule breakers. If something is serious, get the right people involved for everyone’s benefit. It’s important to gauge the seriousness of the incident and the level of response required. Anything beyond a friendly suggestion should be left for park staff to handle.
You Write Negative Campground Reviews Online After Nearly Every Stay
Campground reviews can be a great way to get a feel for an unfamiliar or new campground. However, campground snobs make it more difficult as they often leave extremely negative reviews after nearly every stay, often for minor things or bad luck. For example, we’ve seen reviews from campground snobs complaining about the weather, which is beyond the campground’s control.
If you’re the type that tends to have a negative outlook on most things in life, it could come off as snobby. There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging negative situations or expectations, but snobs often fixate on them or exaggerate them. Then spread them on the internet.
These people make some campground reviews hard to trust. Snobs will almost always find something to complain about in a situation. Their reviews often tell a one-sided view of a situation or event. They’ll frequently leave out important details to create a more negative situation for readers.
This is why you must take some reviews with a grain of salt. Be sure to read other reviews and average them out before making your decision.
If you find yourself venting your campground frustrations on the internet on permanent review sites and forums, consider waiting a few days before publishing your reviews. Giving yourself some time to calm down will make you less likely to say something exaggerated and more likely to leave something constructive and helpful to the campground management and other campers.
Not All Campgrounds Will Impress, But You Don’t Need to Be a Snob
Everyone should manage their expectations when staying in campgrounds. Not every establishment will provide a five-star camping experience to every guest.
If you expect a luxury or premium experience, you’ll likely need to spend most of your time in RV parks and resorts. However, you need to be willing to pay a premium price for the experience.
State and national park campgrounds typically don’t offer the same features or amenities as private RV parks and resorts. They’re typically cheaper and provide a more authentic camping experience as they work to preserve nature. However, if you plan to stay near a popular tourist destination, it could cost a lot more, no matter what amenities it offers. Some of these “campgrounds” operate more like glorified parking lots for convenience.
You’ll have a more positive experience if you manage your expectations accordingly. Just because things don’t always go your way or you get the short end of the stick now and then doesn’t mean you have to act like a snob. There’s no excuse for behaving rudely to staff or fellow campers, as this may only perpetuate the poor experience to other campers.
What Should You Do if You Encounter a Campground Snob?
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when encountering a campground snob is to continue to engage with them. If you’re chatting with a fellow camper and detect or observe any signs we’ve shared, disengage. You don’t want their negative attitude or mindset to ruin your experience. Also, take everything they say with a grain of salt.
Don’t Be a Campground Snob
Now, we understand being particular and knowing what you want. And that is absolutely fine! Some campgrounds are genuinely poorly managed and terrible, with trashed bathrooms and gouging prices. However, most campgrounds are run by people who do their best and deserve the benefit of the doubt.
In our experience, a little patience and compassion can go a long way to having a better and happier experience. By lowering your high expectations, you may find you’re pleasantly surprised by how clean a bathroom is or quiet and peaceful your no-frills dry camping site is.
What snobby behaviors have you seen at a campground? Tell us in the comments!
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Thursday 27th of April 2023
My bride and I are not campground snobs. We do enjoy the Glamping lifestyle and are not afraid to pay for it. I grew up spending most summers in a tow-behind camper while her family would go tent camping on their property up north. We're older now and she enjoys the AC and not having to take navy showers. Boondocking is not in our future, but good on those who can and do. It frees up more space in the campgrounds for us.
Thanks, and keep the updates coming.
Sunday 5th of March 2023
Wow! I'm really surprised at some of these, especially the ones about the rules. Most often rules are there for a reason. The last two parks we've been at there have been so many posted rules broken, i.e. "No Parking on the grass", No smoking in the public areas", "No dog on the beach" are just a few. I'm someone that follows the rules, and every fiber of me wants to go all "Sheldon" on those that completely disregard them, but I do not. In my opinion, if the campground has rules, THEY should ENFORCE the rules or change the rules that they choose not to enforce.
Saturday 28th of January 2023
I’m just starting out and am not a “snob”, but I definitely plan to seek out 50amp full hookups. I did my share of 15’ no plumbing caravanning in a family of 5 as a kid and want to use the indoor plumbing and A/C I paid for (without needing to spend $$$ for solar upgrades. I’m also still employed and need solid Wi-Fi. There sometimes is a superiority complex in the camping community. “I’m a REAL camper because I can boondock for daysssss, you spoiled wannabe”. There is room for everyone and kindness and compassion go a long way. You never know what people are going through that makes them behave the way they do.
Monday 23rd of January 2023
We call those people “Campground Karens” who know and enforce every rule of a park.
Monday 23rd of January 2023
This really cracked me up!! Thanks for writing it. However, please keep in mind that some people need a paved site and electrical hook ups for a wheelchair and medical equipment! Not everyone thinks about, but I laughed out loud because I am the person who always wants a paved site!! Check us out a www.navigatingwiththenelsons.com to see wheelchair inspired RVing!!
Mortons on the Move
Monday 23rd of January 2023
So glad you enjoyed it! We had fun writing it, of course, that makes sense and like the article says there are many exceptions. So great to see you out enjoying the RV life :)